Watch: Prof. Michel Blanc: Exploring the Jupiter System: Key Questions for Future Missions| On Things to Come

On 22 December 2021, Prof. Michel Blanc gave an online seminar on Exploring the Jupiter System: Key Questions for Future Missions. The lecture was organized in the context of the ISSI-BJ "On Things to Come" series that addresses ongoing as well as future space missions by inviting renowned scientists from different countries, institutes, and space agencies. 


Watch it on Bilibili


The Jupiter system is the most massive secondary system in the Solar System. Its formation had a profound influence on the architecture of the solar system and on the delivery or water to the inner planets. Its satellite system offers a broad diversity of objects whose inventory and characterization are still incomplete. In particular, the formation scenarios, geology, geochemistry,  geophysics and potential habitability of the four Galilean satellites continue to challenge our understanding despite the major contributions of Voyager and Galileo observations. These “big questions” have motivated a new wave of space missions to the Jupiter system and its surroundings, one of which is operational (Juno), while others are en route (Lucy) or in development (JUICE, Europa Clipper). Juno arrival at Jupiter in 2016, 13 years after the end of the Galileo mission, provided a whole new perspective on Jupiter itself. And, with its extended mission, Juno will offer the first close look at Jupiter and its moons since Galileo. 

In this talk, we will briefly introduce the Jupiter system and review the major open questions concerning this system: its origin and formation scenario, its internal coupling processes, their relation to the unique architecture of the system, the habitability of its ocean moons and their astrobiological potential. We will present some of the key contributions of Juno to its renewed understanding, and discuss the contributions expected from Lucy, JUICE and Europa Clipper.

On this basis we will present the case for new ambitious missions to the Jupiter system and its moons after them. 


About Prof. Michel Blanc

Michel Blanc is an emeritus professor and planetary scientist working at IRAP, France. He is also a research associate at LAM, France, at the University of Michigan, USA and has been several times a visiting professor at NSSC, CAS, China. 

Michel Blanc’s research focuses on magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling at Earth and giant planets systems and on the comparative study of Planetary Systems and planetary magnetospheres. He has been an Interdisciplinary Scientist on the NASA-ESA-ASI Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan, and led the Laplace mission proposal to ESA which was at the origin of JUICE. He is a co-Investigator on NASA’s Juno mission. 

His current works focus on: (1) the study of magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling at giant planets, using Cassini and Juno observations; (2) the monitoring of the terrestrial upper and middle atmosphere and ionosphere (International Meridian Circle Project); (3) planets-moons-disks interactions in giant planets; (4) future missions to Giant Planets and their ocean moons. 

Michel Blanc has published about 200 articles in peer-reviewed international journals. He has been the founding coordinator of the Europlanet Research Infrastructure of the European Union. He is a member of the Air and Space Academy, of the International Academy of Astronautics and of the Academia Europaea.

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